REVIEW (WELL, SORTA): BÖLZER HERO CD/LP (IRON BONEHEAD, 2016)
Bölzer finally released their debut album following a few well-regarded eps. Compared to those eps, the eagerly awaited, but backlash-beckoning full-length has less in the way of "Wolfshook"-worthy riffs and more in the way of, um, shall we say controversial clean vocals.
The present inmates of Slamz Jail take a listen and try to figure out what to make of it, first impressions...
Kirk: Have any of you sick metal fucks heard the new Bölzer? Lots of clean crooning.
Allan: I've been so curious, it's gotten pretty much universally bad reviews – makes me think I might like it!
Kirk: Yeah exactly! It's out officially now. You can stream it wherever. I think maybe the songs are a little long and drag a bit but they are really catchy and pretty and sad. Lots of wolf-howl croon.
Andee: The vocals are pretty painful, which makes me think Allan WILL like it.
Kirk: You think so? When I saw them live doing old songs and new the clean vocals made perfect sense. It flowed seamlessly. But the new one has basically no "metal vox.”
Andee: You know I love bad vox, but those seem bad BAD... to be fair, I've only heard one song, will check out the whole thing today.
Harry: Gonna give it a sneaky spin now.
Kirk: Curious to know what Harry thinks. My biggest complaint is just the song length.
Harry: Listening to first song...now. Enjoying the spooky Boy Scout whistling intro. This sounds immediately extremely good to me.
Kirk: That's good to hear. It's kinda got that Mithras spacey feel.
Harry: It does! But a bit more epic in the traditional metal sense of the word.
Harry: I think the vox are really cool.
Andee: You would.
Kirk: Yeah I don't know why people don't like ‘em.
Andee: You would too.
Harry: I dare say the vocals are putting hair on my chest in a somewhat Hellenic fashion. Lol.
Andee: This might be the most ridiculous 'metal' song i've heard in a while:
That OOOH AHHHH chorus. Woah.
Kirk: It's great!
Allan: Yeah, not bad at all, pretty cool actually... And listening to some more of the tracks on Hero right now, while I'm not ready (yet) to say it's a brilliant work of genius, it seems at least as good or better than a LOT of 'extreme metal' stuff out there that people seem to like – if different. And, honestly, I'd much rather listen to vocals like these on this album than 95% of the samey harsh/guttural/growling 'vokills' on most death and black metal releases.
Andee: Told ya! ...Things I like more than the new Bölzer: the new Witchery, the new Denouncement Pyre, and maybe surprisingly, the new Norma Jean.
Kirk: Dear god Andee.
Andee: Also the new Tomb Mold tape. New Adaestuo, new Crest Of Darkness is great too, and new KYY (rad Finnish BM)...
Allan: What's Tomb Mold? Sounds cool from the name.
Allan: I like it... but the Bölzer is better.